Friday, March 28, 2014

Julie's Review: Ready Player One


Author: Ernest Cline
Series: None
Publication Date:August 31, 2011
Publisher: Findaway World/Random House
Narrator: Wil Wheaton
Length: 15 hours and 46 minutes
Obtained: Audible;Mine
Genre:  Science Fiction, Fantasy
Rating: 5
Bottom Line: Any child of the 80s will want to listen or read this! Fantastic!!
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut — part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed. It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune — and remarkable power — to whoever can unlock them. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt — among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life — and love — in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape. A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready? ~powells.com

Review: I don't do Sci-Fi. I just don't. I think my dad scarred me with making me watch the tv show Star Trek and the subsequent movies. So when Michelle suggested Ready Player One, I agreed with some hesitation. I will say this, it isn't so Sci-Fi that it's not a plausible future, because it is. What sold me though was the 80s reference. Dear lord there was a perpetual smile on my face from this book. Mr. Cline has certainly written a book that will appeal to a wide variety of people. I felt that Mr. Cline did a fantastic job of including politics in the book without it hitting you over the head with it. There's adventure, action, romance packed into this gem of a book.

Wade is a fantastic character. He's the definition of an every man. You identify with his struggles, his hopes and his pursuit. His life sucks so badly outside of the Oasis that he creates the life he wants inside of a virtual world. The hunt for the "Easter Egg" is a glorified scavenger hunt that makes people crazy and greedy. I mean it is a ton of money but money does weird things to people. I would even consider Wade a bit of a savant. Seriously who remembers dialogue of a lot of movies in a variety of genres? I guess if that's all you do, then maybe you do have brain capacity for it. It is his memory and how he puts together the pieces of the puzzle that shoot him to the top of the gamers scoreboard. And that's where I'll leave it because saying anymore would ruin it for you. I will say this about all the other characters in the book, the geeks shall inherit the earth is so true. This is a great group of people who find solace in a virtual reality but have real connections with each other. And that's where I'll leave it because saying anymore would ruin it for you.

And really, you should listen Ready Player One. You may ask, why not just read it? Well you could but then you would miss Wil Wheaton as the narrator. Wil Wheaton was made for this book. His inflection, his voice, his characterization were spot on. Good god, I think I have a voice crush on him now. I mean I've been a fan of Wil Wheaton since his Stand By Me days and of course the times he was on The Big Bang Theory but I wouldn't have guessed him to be such a fantastic narrator.

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2 comments :

Michelle S March 31, 2014 at 10:20 AM  

Now I have a perpetual smile on my face!

stacybuckeye March 31, 2014 at 10:14 PM  

As a child of the 80's I need to carve out time for this!

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